Apple Brandy Alexander: An Elegant Fall Cocktail
November 3, 2020
For our birthdays last month, my husband and I took a few drives to see some of our favorite local landmarks with all the changing leaves. While we were out, we were also able to stop by a distillery I love and do a tasting. I tried eight different whiskeys, gins, and liquors, but my favorite was their seasonal apple brandy. As soon as I got home, I started brainstorming cocktails, and decided for a twist on a classic with an apple brandy alexander.
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The alexander is a pre-prohibition cocktail made with gin, white creme de cacao, and cream, that doesn’t really get a lot of attention anymore. It’s been overshadowed by it’s most famous variation, the brandy alexander, featuring cognac (a locale-specific brandy) instead of gin. It’s one of those cases of the cover being more popular than the original!
What You Need to Get Started
- From the Bar: Apple brandy, Dark chocolate liqueur
- Fridge: Cream
- Spice Rack: Nutmeg, Cinnamon sticks
- Equipment: Cocktail shaker, cocktail glasses
Let’s Make an Apple Brandy Alexander
For this version, I couldn’t help but use my brand new bottle of apple brandy. Not only was I itching to make something with a new find, but I am also in an apple period. Pretty much all throughout the fall, every one of my ideas for new recipes starts with apples. I guess cocktails are no exception.
Brandy is a an interesting liquor to begin with. It’s made by distilling wine, so it comes in at a pretty high alcohol level. In most cases, it’s then aged in casks, which significantly alters the flavor. It doesn’t taste anything like wine anymore.
Apple brandy is a little bit different in that it’s made from apples. I have a bit of a personal connection to the liquor, since it was invented near my hometown, in Monmouth County, NJ. I’ve since moved away from there, but in Upstate NY, we still have a lot of apple spirit.
In this cocktail, the apple brandy is combined with equal parts dark chocolate liqueur and heavy cream in a cocktail shaker with ice. Close tightly and shake until it is very cold, about twenty seconds. This cools down the drink, and also dilutes it slightly by melting the ice.
Strain into a cocktail glass. This creates a rich and elegant cocktail with a foamy top. You can garnish it with a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg, like a traditional brandy alexander, and add a cinnamon stick for something a bit more festive.
An Apple Brandy Alexander is an elegant cocktail, perfect for fall festivities and entertaining.
How to Serve an Apple Brandy Alexander
Like most cocktails, this is best enjoyed immediately after making it. If you want to make more than one, I suggest shaking each one individually. However, depending on the size of your shaker, you may be able to make a few at a time.
Brandy is already served as an after-dinner drink commonly, and when combined with the chocolate and cream in this cocktail, it’s even more like dessert. But don’t let that stop you from having a sweet treat alongside it. Try peanut butter mousse chocolate cookie cups for something fun, or a classic apple tart if you are trying to be fancy.
Use Up Leftover Ingredients
- Apple brandy is a fun ingredient to add into many cocktails or sangria. Try it as a floater on top of a cinnamon, pear, and rum cocktail.
- Dark chocolate liqueur is featured in another delicious cocktail, a chocolate turtle martini.
- Cream is one of my favorites to use in desserts. Whip it up into a no-bake caramel apple cheesecake.
- Cinnamon sticks add plenty of flavor into a honey pavlova with chai-poached plums.
Apple Brandy Alexander Cocktail
- 1 oz Apple Brandy
- 1 oz Dark Chocolate Liqueur
- 1 oz Heavy Cream
- Nutmeg and/or cinnamon stick for garnish
- Add the apple brandy, dark chocolate liqueur, and cream to a cocktail shaker with ice. Cover, and shake vigorously for 20 seconds, until the shaker is very cold.
- Strain into a cocktail glass and garnish with freshly grated nutmeg and a cinnamon stick as desired. Serve immediately.
- For a traditional Brandy Alexander, substitute the apple brandy with Cognac.
- For a lighter version, substitute the heavy cream with whole or 2% milk.